Urban Land Banking 101: A Supervillain’s Guide To Ruining Local Real Estate Markets

Due to my background, I’m invited to quite a few privileged conversations. One of those occurred a few months ago, when a Beijing-based money manager sent my office an email, and asked if I could meet him in Toronto for coffee. He was fairly vague, but said he just wanted to have a casual conversation about real estate in Canada. Turns out he owns Canadian property, and wanted to know if I felt he should sell. We met a few days later, and I told him what I tell everyone: If you’re buying a house to live in, it doesn’t matter. If you’re living in it, it’s a lifestyle choice. Enjoy your home, even if you only occasionally use it. If you make a profit on the sale, that’s a bonus.

Then half-jokingly, I laughed and said “if you’re a land banker, it’s a little different. There’s a lot of building in Toronto, prices climbed an unsustainable amount, and the market presents significant downside risks in my opinion.” He didn’t laugh. He looked at the quiet dude he showed up with, and nodded. Turns out he was land banking, and had 15 properties. They were already on the fence about selling, but they wanted to see what I thought. They were not tenanted, so it would be quick and easy he explained. This is urban land banking. Read More

Ethical Investing

What is Ethical Investing

Ethical investing refers to the practice of using one’s ethical principles as the primary filter for the selection of securities investing. Ethical investing depends on an investor’s views. Ethical investing is sometimes used interchangeably with socially conscious investing, but socially conscious funds typically have one overarching set of guidelines that are used to select the portfolio, whereas ethical investing brings about a more personalized result. Read More

Basics of a 1031 Exchange

Property investors want to make money on their investments. When you go to sell your property, you will have to pay taxes on any gains you have made. That is, unless you do a 1031 exchange. Here are nine basics you should know.

What Is a 1031 Exchange?

A 1031 exchange is a way to sell a property without having to immediately pay taxes. The idea is that you will roll over any gains into the purchase of a new property, which allows you to defer paying taxes until you sell the new property, unless you do another 1031 exchange. Read More

7 Elements of a Strategic Plan

A strategic plan is a document that establishes the direction of a company or work unit. It can be a single page or fill up a binder, depending on the size and complexity of the business and work.

Most managers would benefit from having their own strategic plan. The process of developing a plan helps the manager (and the team) step back and examine where they are, where they want to go, and how to get there. In the absence of a plan, work still gets done on a day-to-day basis but often lacks a sense of purpose
and priority.
Here is a template for a basic, simplified strategic plan that any manager can fill out, providing both long-term purpose and direction and tactical operating plans. Read More

General Education: The Education Everyone Should Be Provided

General Education is the program of education that typically developing children should receive, based on state standards and evaluated by the annual state educational standards test. It is the preferred way of describing its synonym, “regular education.”It is preferred because the term “regular” connotes that children receiving special education services are somehow “irregular.” Read More